Continuing work with the Ship Models

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Work continues on the exhibition for the 50th anniversary of the Hampton Roads Ship Model Society, with models having arrived every day for the past two weeks.  We have almost reached the finish line though with only a couple more models set to come in.  Although anyone can walk through and see the work we’re doing, the exhibition officially opens August 5th and will remain open until February 11th, 2018.  The models are so lovely and it’s amazing the amount of work and skill that goes into making them.  The model makers clearly have a tremendous amount of patience.

There are a lot of models that people will recognize in this show, including America, CSS Virginia, USS Monitor, and SS United States.  We get a lot of questions about our model of SS United States, which is currently in storage, so it will be great to have one on display again.  There are two models of America (where the America’s Cup race gets its name), which make an excellent contrast to the AC72 displayed in the gallery next door.  It shows you just how far technology has taken us.   Read more

Ship Models on Display

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Models by Lee Martin

This week we’ve started installing our newest exhibition, a display of about 50 models from the Hampton Roads Ship Model Society.  It will open August 5th and we will be spending the next couple of weeks receiving the models and putting them into their appropriate cases.  This was the previously the location of the A to Z exhibition, which featured a wide variety of interesting artifacts in our collection.  It’s always exciting when a gallery is changed out!

More to come as more models come in!   Read more

Behind the Scenes Tour

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Very rarely am I asked to give behind-the-scenes tours as Jeanne and Cindi usually do them, but this past Friday I got to take a small group of Ukrainian journalists on one.  They were here as part of a media partnership program with The Daily Press.  You can read more about that HERE.

Wanting to pull something from their country, I searched and searched and was only able to come up with one piece, a print of Odessa, which actually shows the city at a time when it was part of Russia.   Read more

Visiting Family History

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One of my favorite things to do is take someone to an artifact that has personal meaning to them and watch their face light up as they see the piece and reminisce about it and their family history.  Very recently this happened (although to another co-worker this time) as we had a woman come in looking for two carvings her grandfather, William Geggie, had done.

Thankfully a staff member was able to direct her to where they are displayed in our business entrance and we were able to send her more information about the pieces and her grandfather.  The museum hired Geggie to carve these pieces in 1957 to compliment a couple of our figureheads that were being displayed at the front of the museum.  Working full time, he was able to complete them in four months.   Read more

Artifacts on the Move!

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Entrance to the Museum

Recently I had the good fortune of being in the Boston area and was able to visit some of our artifacts currently on loan to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.  Their exhibition, Ocean Liners:  Glamour, Speed, and Style is open from now until October 9, after which it will be traveling to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  We loaned them a number of fantastic pieces, including some that are quite large.

In the second room, seen in the picture above, the engineering of these mighty ships was discussed and two of our artifacts were included.  The first is the piece hanging from the ceiling, a towing tank model of SS United States.  This model was tested in the U.S. Navy’s David W. Taylor Model Basin at Bethesda, Maryland in 1946.  The other piece is the cream-colored half model on the wall to the right.  It doesn’t look like much in this photo, but it is a 21′ plating model for SS United States, made in 1949.   Read more